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This time the truth about (my) body image

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Photo sourced from Dove Real Beauty Campaign 2012

Photo sourced from Dove Real Beauty Campaign 2012

Last year I wrote a post where I made some claims that have subsequently proven false.

In Bikinis, body image and me I made brave comments about finally having learned to accept my body as it is.

As if!

Ok yes, I did as foretold in said post, buy a bikini. And what’s more, I did wear said bikini.

I even survived the humiliation of realising my daughter’s 13-year-old friend was wearing an identical bikini at the beach, on the day I first revealed my  2 piece to the world.

My very cute, 50"s inspired bikini.

My very cute, 50’s inspired bikini.

But in recent weeks it has dawned on me that as my 45th birthday rapidly approaches, it really is about time I started to truly accept my body rather than just pretending I do.

I know I am no lone crusader on this one. There are whole organisations, such as The Butterfly Foundation, who are dedicated to helping women/girls work on their negative self-image.

But I cannot help but wonder if it really is possible for someone like me to change habits accrued over a lifetime.

If I am brave enough to delve into my psyche, I can point to any number of reasons for my poor body image.

Perhaps it all stems back to being called ‘the Michelin tyre man’ as a toddler by my family.

The michelin tyre man - notice the rols and rolls of fat

The Michelin tyre man – notice the rolls and rolls of fat

Then there was my ‘best friend’ in primary school who called me “fat ape” unless she suddenly needed me to help her with her maths.

Or my first real boyfriend who delighted in reminding me not to finish meals when dining out, as it would “make you fatter”.

And told me to be careful when lying on the beach near my parents house, in case Greenpeace  mistook me for a whale and threw me back into the water.

A beautiful animal, but I don't think I really look like this, thanks very much DPE.  Image courtesy of

A beautiful animal, but actually DPE I don’t think I really look like one of them.
Image courtesy of

For as long as I can remember, I have sorted eating into either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food options.

I feel guilty whenever I eat a ‘bad’ food. Sometimes the knowledge I will feel guilty if I eat something stops me from actually eating it.

Other times I push on regardless, consume the item (usually very quickly, probably in some weird attempt to pretend I am not actually eating it) and then feel sick with remorse for ages after.

I have of course dieted many times over the years, and I still employ tactics such as trying not to eat carbs after 6pm or eat more than 1200 calories a day.

I do worry about the message I am giving my children.

My son is so skinny his ribs stick out whenever he raises his arms, and yet he talks about needing to go on a diet as he claims he is fat.

See what I mean about those ribs - mind you, his arms are pretty good guns!

See what I mean about those ribs – mind you, his arms are pretty good guns!

My daughter was devastated when she was weighed at the pediatrician yesterday and discovered she had put on a kilo over the intervening month since her first visit. Mind you, she was wearing more and heavier  clothes than the last time.

I estimate I would use the expressions “I’ve put on weight” or “Does this make me look fat?” at least once a week.

I tell myself and others that I am finally realising it is more important to be healthy than to be skinny. For brief moments in time, I almost believe it too.

Sometimes I feel like I hate my body. My arthritic, prone to suffer repeated and lengthy viruses, body.

For that matter, what does the fact I think of ‘my body’ almost as a separate and alien being say about me?

Enough of the whingeing already.


But if you have any suggestions for me on how to combat my body image issues, I would love to hear them. Or if you like, why not add your own whine in the comments section below.

Cheers till next time (which hopefully won’t be too far in the future,and on a happier topic),



2 responses »

  1. Loved the story mum!
    Don’t worry your not giving us a negative impact on our body images!


  2. I think as women (and I guess many men) we have at least one hang up that will always be our cross to bear unless we invest in years of therapy. Identifying it is first part in solving the problem so AA says!

    I was at yoga this afternoon and was alongside an anorexic girl and I found myself judging her as to how she could possibly believe she looked good. It is so hard to accept ourselves and we rarely see ourselves the way others do. I guess we are all still in stages of growth and methinks emotional maturity might be the last to flourish- I speak for myself here!!!


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